Classic Noir

April – shot through a vintage Rolleiflex f/3.5

In the most general sense, Noir is a cinema term for a genre of film-making that concerns itself with evil, moral corruption, alienation and disillusionment. A classic Noir film featured women that smoked, carried guns and did whatever the hell they felt like doing. This and the low camera angles, dramatic lighting and downbeat plot-lines (where the good guys weren’t all that good and the bad guys were horrible) usually created a sense of cynicism, pessimism and ambiguity. Did I forget anything? Oh yeah: melancholy, guilt, and paranoia. In other words – these were great films. With the Noir tradition (strong threatening women, temptation, lurking danger) in mind I created this portrait of April by shooting through a vintage 1950 Rolleiflex. She’s a classic dame. In her purse were cigarettes, a lighter and a .25 caliber automatic. Lighting was hard and bare and so was she. Some of my favorite Noir lines were running through my mind as I produced this series – like this gem from Kiss Me Deadly – Mike: You’re never around when I need you. Velda: You never need me when I’m around…


About John Durant

Professional photographer in California
This entry was posted in American Photographic Artists, B&W negative film, color negatives, color transparencies, Hollywood, Ilford FP4, Kodak P3200, Kodak Plus-X, Kodak T-Max, Los Angeles, Noir, Portrait, Rolleiflex, San Diego, World War II. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Classic Noir

  1. die Reinemachefrau says:

    April’s a classic dame, huh? Well, be careful bruddah what you put in da pot, and don’t forget the immortal warning of Rigby Reardon. “All dames are alike: they reach down your throat so they can grab your heart, pull it out and they throw it on the floor, and they step on it with their high heels, they spit on it, shove it in the oven and they cook the shit out of it. Then they slice it into little pieces, slam it on a hunk of toast, and they serve it to you. And they expect you to say, “Thanks, honey, it’s delicious!”

  2. die…you got that right! Except for one small thing. It’s your balls we want. Not your heart!

  3. john merkler says:

    A classic dame?

    “Poor unfortunate girl.”
    “She was a tramp.”
    “She was a human being. Let me remind you that even the most unworthy of us has a right to life and the pursuit of happiness
    “From what I hear she pursued it in all directions.”

    Strangers on a Train ’51

  4. john merkler says:

    die Reinemachefrau ?LOL go figure!

  5. john merkler says:

    Still giggling – “Reinemachefrau” – what a hoot. Haven’t heard that term since I was 6 or 7 years old….’hannes

    Now that image, in a noir (Velda?) context…what an image!

  6. markstout says:

    Beautiful photo!

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